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When to seek professional help for teens dealing with anxiety or depression

If you are the parent of a child struggling with one of these mental health issues, it can be hard to know when to seek professional help for them.

Last week on 13 ON YOUR SIDE MORNINGS, we talked about how more and more teens are experiencing anxiety and depression. If you are a parent of a child struggling with one of these mental health issues, it can be hard to know when to seek professional help for them.

13 ON YOUR SIDE spoke with holistic child psychologist Dr. Nicole Beurkens for some insight.

"If a teen is experience ongoing symptoms of anxiety or depression that have been going on for an extended period of time, or are getting progressively worse over time, then seeking professional help is important," explained Dr. Beurkens.

"The first line of treatment should be counseling – cognitive-behavior therapy and mindfulness therapies are particularly beneficial for most teens. Other strategies that can be helpful include movement and exercise, nutrition-focused approaches, addressing any sleep issues, managing screen time challenges, and working with the school for supports and accommodations.

"Medications for anxiety and depression are available but should be a last resort, and used in combination with counseling and other non-medication approaches. There are many therapeutic approaches and options available to improve these symptoms in teens. Talk to a professional sooner than later if you or your child are concerned," said Dr. Beurkens.

For more information, support and treatment options, visit Dr. Beurkens' website or her clinic. 

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